Creative Spark

“The ‘Muse’ is not an artistic mystery, but a mathematical equation. They are those ideas you think of as you drift to sleep. The giver is the one you think of when you first awake.” ~ Roman Payne

Most of us possess a flame inside in the form of strong ideas, gifts, and desires to create. It is this flame that ignites our own unique forms of creative expression, fields of interest, and adventurous curiosity. Inspiration is an intangible yet inseparable part of the creative process. And most all creative possibilities are related to the muses that inspire us.

The ancient Greeks believed that all creation, whether artistic or scientific in nature, was motivated by goddesses who served as the literal embodiment of inspiration. These were the Muses – the givers of creative spark. We still rely on muses to aid the creative process, though ours may take many forms. People we meet, intriguing ideas, movies, books, nature, and cultural ideals all have the potential to awaken our imaginative minds. When touched by our muses, we understand that we are capable of producing our own kind of greatness.

I suspect many people progress along their own journey, unaware of the presence of their muse. This lack of awareness can be compounded by the fact that we may have one muse that remains with us throughout our lives, multiple muses that inspire us concurrently, several muses that come and go as necessary, or a single muse that touches us briefly at specific moments. You will know that you have found your muse when you experience a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity.

If you surround yourself with people who support you, keep a pen and paper close by, immerse yourself in culture, and brainstorm frequently, you will soon reconnect with your muse. Then you can consider these actions, specific to your creativity:

  1. There are 7+ billion people on planet Earth, but only one you. You are a walking phenomenon, an anomoly of sorts. You were born for a reason, for a purpose, and meant to be here. Acknowledge your individuality and know that your dormant talents were given to you as a gift. Determine your uniqueness, your strength, and your voice; then begin to introduce it to the world.
  2. Everyone struggles and struggles are directly tied to the human condition. Struggles make you relatable and are what help you connect with your audience. By sharing where you have failed and how you have overcome, you are transparent and reliable. We must be confident in telling our own stories about our challenges, success, and experiences. This is part of creative expression.
  3. Muses have difficulty being heard when they are affected by negativity, criticism, fatigue, fear, and panic. Try to eliminate these elements from your life. If you are unable to totally eliminate them, try to find productive ways of channeling negative energy away from you, or learn to redirect it into positive action. Remember that muses are not always attractive, socially acceptable, moral, or lovable.

Once you have identified your muse, embrace it by giving yourself over to the creative inspiration it provides. No matter what you are moved to create, you will find that neither fear nor criticism can penetrate the joy that goes hand in hand with the act of taking an idea and turning it into something everyone can use and enjoy.

55 thoughts on “Creative Spark

  1. I really love this post, Eric. I feel I am creative in my own way and it does not affect me much if some people do not like my work, as long as there are others who are positively encouraging me 🙂

  2. Great post Eric. I just love the way you use the whole understanding of muse in the way you do. Linked to creativity, there’s no doubt that they give life.

  3. ” …. try to find productive ways of channelling negative energy away from you, or learn to redirect it into positive action. ”
    When I had a total nervous breakdown, I started up my painting again, ALL day I would paint, I would create and absorb myself totally in art, channelling all thoughts into that so I didn’t have to think, Each day was a little like a ritual for me back then.. I would make a Rice-Pudding from scratch, this was the only food I would eat for months .. I had to eat it by bed time… Strange how the mind works as one part shuts down and another creative spark ignites ..
    That Creative spark was my saviour… as it lifted me up and out of my self made pit…

    Blessings for you teachings Eric..
    Happy 2014 and beyond
    Sue

    • Thank you, Sue. I am always encouraged when people share how their challenges grew into successful/pleasing outcomes. So glad you embraced that creative spark! Here’s to your 2014 filled with abundant joy and good health!

  4. Tapping into our creativity is a wonderful gift. I know people who swear they are not creative yet I see the beauty (manifestation) of their spirit all around me.

  5. thank you for this excellent post for the new year.

    There are 7+ billion people on planet Earth, but only one you. You are a walking phenomenon, an anomoly of sorts. You were born for a reason, for a purpose, and meant to be here. Acknowledge your individuality and know that your dormant talents were given to you as a gift. Determine your uniqueness, your strength, and your voice; then begin to introduce it to the world. ~ This is a very important positive message to impart to our world at this time. I also like your new header, lovely!

    xxx Linda

  6. “You will know that you have found your muse when you experience a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity.”

    Great Post Eric! I love to consider the creative force as being personified, even when it’s hard to know fully who, what Muse, is touching us. Being touched by an insight, or an image, a poem or a song that comes through to us, feels to me as if it has been given to us, and we in turn give it our expression and share it with the world.

    Thank you for sharing your insights with us and reminding us of the Muses. 🙂
    Debra

  7. What a great connection! A result of your recent comment left over at Learning from Dogs. So a double ‘thank you’. Lovely to see Sue Dreamwalker’s comment; she is a loyal supporter of LfD.

  8. Wonderful post Eric, My muse has been surfacing more in the form of poetry on my blog. 2 things struck me about your post; our muse is hard to hear over negativity & criticism. And sharing our struggles to help us connect with our audience. Thanks! muse brad

    • Of your thoughtful comments, I feel it is our obligation to be honest and open if our intention is to connect – with any one or any group. I’m glad your found the post enjoyable and that you can relate to your muse. Thank you!

  9. Wonderful post. I thank my muse every night as I fall asleep, and again in the morning when I wake up for the inspiration and creativity that she has brought me.
    I’ve had a recent family tragedy, and I was shut down for awhile, there was just nothing there creatively in my soul (I cried), and anything I did create was with much effort. Negativity, pain and fear definitely are a factor in being able to hear our muse. Time heals all.
    Thank you for this post.

    • Thanking your muse every might – that is gratitude in action! And as you have experienced, time does heal and allows our muse(s) to clearly return their guidance/inspiration. Appreciate your contributing to the conversation, Angeline.

  10. Imagine Gomer Pyle when you read this: Wellllllllll I’ll be! I was writing about creativity yesterday as well. But this post of yours addresses it more powerfully. Love this. Love the depth of this. I have to say I could easily relate to our muse being affected by negativity. I feel my creative need more strongly when I am feeling positive. And when I am trying to release negative energy, my creativity is almost always a part of that process.

    • Disclosure: I did snicker. I’ve not had a commenter share in character before. 🙂 To your observation, I believe much of what clouds our clarity and ability to focus is negativity or as Don Miguel Ruiz labels it, the “mitote.” Glad to learn how your creativity helps you in releasing negative energy, Colleen. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  11. intriguing thought, Eric. Personifying the Muse like this sounds like getting in touch with your heart while shutting the rest of the sound. Only when your soul is calm and silent then it will whisper its insights. Wonderful 🙂

    • Brad, thank you for sharing. I appreciate your thoughts! Personally, I believe our heart/soul is always whispering. It is we who choose to create the calm and quiet in which we can then hear more clearly. This is, for me, why the practice of mindfulness is beneficial; we learn how to see and hear with clarity, even when there is so much “sound” around.

  12. A terrific posting thanks Eric. I find fatigue, fear, and panic make me destructive; negativity and criticism clams me up!

  13. Oh I love that quote, Eric – really love it.

    Were you around when I had my blog VodkaWasMyMuse.wordpress.com? It was a video diary of me battling alcohol. That was 2012. Well, artists sometimes think they can’t function so well without alcohol – but guess what, they CAN!! 🙂

    Absolutely love this post, Eric. I have for YEAAAAAARS been dragged to a stop-still by the negatives of people, people, people, and have only now found how well I am with no people in my life!! Well, none but Daniel. I know I need to learn to “be with others” again, but I came to this place at now of “Better to know no-one than someone damaging”, and that’s left me knowing no-one. I am very conscious that I need to pick up my life & my identity again before Daniel leaves home.

    History has spoken of muses since the beginning. Love your pointers. You’re wonderful 🙂

    • I was not, Noeleen. I only stepped into the blogging waters this past May. It sounds like a wonderful blog. Was it equal parts enlightening, encouraging and entertaining? Seems like it could be all three. 🙂

      I have, for some time, believed that we can be just fine when we depend on our own self. This is not to say that one ought to isolate themselves from opportunities to connect with family, friends or colleagues of their choosing. Still, a gradual ‘re-entry” period seems cautious (and prudent), especially when one is reclaiming their life from things draining and negative. You have yourself and Daniel, that is a solid grounding!

      How exciting that you get to resume your identity and grow forward from there! Savor the unfolding. 🙂

  14. I would just add to this great post that once you have found your muse you have to have faith that sooner or later like-minded people will find you. With the internet this is easier than ever. Your job is simply to keep writing, playing etc.

  15. Love it, Eric! Very well said, as always. I will exercise the ideas here. 🙂

    Hope you had a good Holiday season! I’m very happy to be back reading your posts. I missed them.

    • Just as you missed reading blog posts, your followers missed your presence!

      The holidays were quiet, by design. With family amassed 3,025km to the East, I chose to stay in the High Desert with my dogs and great neighbors. Low key is good some times.

      Glad you found some ideas worthy of acting upon. It always warms me when someone is inspired to act on a post’s message. 🙂 Thanks, man!

    • My dogs don’t even wake me at 5am. I’m too busy enjoying REM sleep at that hour. 🙂 Still, Val, I’m warmed that your inner muse is attentive to you most mornings! Voice on! 🙂

  16. Lovely post Eric! I particularly appreciated this comment:

    “I suspect many people progress along their own journey, unaware of the presence of their muse. This lack of awareness can be compounded by the fact that we may have one muse that remains with us throughout our lives, multiple muses that inspire us concurrently, several muses that come and go as necessary, or a single muse that touches us briefly at specific moments. You will know that you have found your muse when you experience a force that makes you feel courageous enough to broaden the range of your creativity.”

    I think learning to honour and make space for those soul connections is what helps us to enliven and ensoul our world and those around us. Thank you for the gift of your muse!

  17. Wonderful post, love it. Finding muses in our lives is one of those things that makes life so rich…and experiences uplifting allowing us all to grow. I think you have it right when you say muses make us courageous…to move into areas where “alone” we would not venture. Beautiful.

    This post also got me thinking about others who enter life in broken families and grow up without attention ~ and have difficulty find a muse. Goes to show how important it is to open ourselves up to others as well…as helping them will also empower us to even higher levels. Great post Eric!

    • Now you’ve got me thinking from another angle. Pondered rhetorically: Do our muses make us courageous… or do they simply nudge us to act with the courage that we already possess, having acquired same through time and experience. I appreciate the pause your comment created.

      Your second point inspires me in a way in which I’d not previously reflected. What a wonderful action – to intentionally share our gifts with those who have had difficulty finding a muse. Sure, many of us teach, train and/or mentor but how often do we inspire/encourage others from a conscious “muse vein?” That, to me, is an interesting way to look at how we are contributing to others. Thanks, Randall!

      • That is a great question…and I would like to think we all have the courage inside, and just need to find the ‘right recipe’ of muses to reach our greatest potentials (plural as I think there are many different/wonderful paths available to us). And as you mention, becoming a muse yourself (inspiring others) may be the best contribution you can give in life. This is why your posts and blog is so special…you help people find the courage deep inside. Cheers to a great ’14.

  18. Dear Eric, a special thank to you for this post I really like very much. I think my principal muse is my past and sensibility gained along these years. But this post is an important reminder for anybody because each person is special as his own ‘special’ way 🙂

    • Indeed, Andrea, each of us is blessed with unique gifts/talents that we can use ourselves and/or share with others. I like that you recognize and appreciate your “principal” muse. Perhaps you have others?! 🙂 Thank you for creating time to share your personal experience.

    • First, thanks for stopping by, Michael. Writing and storytelling are cathartic, powerful and to your experience, often transformative. We are each inspired differently. The key is to take cues from our muse(s) and then create, beautifully. Appreciate your sharing here.

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